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Old 24th March 2019, 05:51 AM   #281
IanS
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Surely that fits what many atheists seem to claim, rather than what theists believe?

Atheists: "God is a sky daddy!"
Theists: "God's mysterious ways!"

What do Christians imagine their God to be if it's not some sort of thinking "individual" who has superhuman powers? For example, in the bible God is supposed to have created Man in his own image (right?) ... that seems fairly conclusive as claiming that God looks like a human person ... doesn't it?

He's also supposed to actually speak to people who hear his voice (in their own language!), eg Jewish prophets with their stories in the OT. So he can actually speak perfectly clearly in various languages including ancient Hebrew and modern English ... right?

He's also supposed to have constantly intervened to change material physical things on Earth. E.g., causing floods and other natural disasters, and answering prayers by producing miracles that directly change someones physical circumstances etc. So he's supposed to be able to interact with Earthly material objects and material conditions in the same way that humans can (except he causes the most fantastic things to happen to those physical things) ... right?
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Old 24th March 2019, 03:36 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
What do Christians imagine their God to be if it's not some sort of thinking "individual" who has superhuman powers? For example, in the bible God is supposed to have created Man in his own image (right?) ... that seems fairly conclusive as claiming that God looks like a human person ... doesn't it?

He's also supposed to actually speak to people who hear his voice (in their own language!), eg Jewish prophets with their stories in the OT. So he can actually speak perfectly clearly in various languages including ancient Hebrew and modern English ... right?

He's also supposed to have constantly intervened to change material physical things on Earth. E.g., causing floods and other natural disasters, and answering prayers by producing miracles that directly change someones physical circumstances etc. So he's supposed to be able to interact with Earthly material objects and material conditions in the same way that humans can (except he causes the most fantastic things to happen to those physical things) ... right?
God knows I can't speak for Christians or even theists. I'm just someone who doesn't self-identify as an atheist. I don't feel the need to ascribe any of the above attributes to God. I believe any God there might be would be beyond my ability to imagine, and I don't expect prayer to alter anything but my own internal state.

I would venture to say, there are probably people who self-identify as theists who hold similar views. You might wonder if there's any point in believing in such a vague God and that would be a legitimate question. The answers would probably vary from person to person.
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Old 24th March 2019, 04:47 PM   #283
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It is a different type of God of the gaps for most. Not gaps in sciences or medicine but personal gaps.

A cancer victim needs a cure so enter the last sure hope. A beloved child is stricken with a degenerative disease with no human cure? Pray for a cure.
Have no clue the meaning of life or your purpose? Pray for guidance from the one infallible source.

Gaps and weaknesses in each person are where faith in a god floats them past the scary stuff.

A first time mother at 8.5 months is probably a bit more religious than any time else in her life. My wife was.
Cats drop litters all the time without a hint of faith or reading baby care books. It comes naturally what to do.

Fears bring a need for a powerful deity to guide and protect oneself.
Unless that individual is capable of handling fears other ways.
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Old 24th March 2019, 06:31 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
What do Christians imagine their God to be if it's not some sort of thinking "individual" who has superhuman powers? For example, in the bible God is supposed to have created Man in his own image (right?) ... that seems fairly conclusive as claiming that God looks like a human person ... doesn't it?
No.

I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.
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Old 24th March 2019, 08:51 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No.

I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.
It's almost like gods are nothing but a paranormal/supernatural beliefs.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:48 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
It's almost like gods are nothing but a paranormal/supernatural beliefs.
Almost.
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Old 24th March 2019, 11:04 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.
This relates to the problem I was discussing earlier in this thread: some atheists have a view of their God that doesn't exist that is different to the view that theists have for their God that they think exists.

How does outreach work in that case? If both sides want to stick to their definition, then the atheist has to convince the theist that the atheist's view of God is correct, or vice versa, before discussion begins. Otherwise any conversation will be at cross purposes. I think this happens more often than people realise.

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Old 24th March 2019, 11:32 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No.

I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.
True, but when they come to talk about what God does they speak of human actions: love, goodness, will, strength, etc.
If they took to the letter that God is not like anything they should keep quiet.
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Old 24th March 2019, 11:38 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
True, but when they come to talk about what God does they speak of human actions: love, goodness, will, strength, etc.
If they took to the letter that God is not like anything they should keep quiet.
They speak of human actions. That's not anything physical. An immaterial being can love.

...they would have said, at that church that I don't go to any more.
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Old 24th March 2019, 11:43 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
This relates to the problem I was discussing earlier in this thread: some atheists have a view of their God that doesn't exist that is different to the view that theists have for their God that they think exists.

How does outreach work in that case? If both sides want to stick to their definition, then the atheist has to convince the theist that the atheist's view of God is correct, or vice versa, before discussion begins. Otherwise any conversation will be at cross purposes. I think this happens more often than people realise.
It happens ALL THE TIME. Like, every time I have a conversation with an atheist about religion, they hold to a strawman version of that religion. And they're not interested in learning what the real story is.

I mean, I'm an atheist myself, and it's been conversations with other atheists that made me realise what an ******* I was being about it.
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Old 25th March 2019, 01:22 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
This relates to the problem I was discussing earlier in this thread: some atheists have a view of their God that doesn't exist that is different to the view that theists have for their God that they think exists.

How does outreach work in that case? If both sides want to stick to their definition, then the atheist has to convince the theist that the atheist's view of God is correct, or vice versa, before discussion begins. Otherwise any conversation will be at cross purposes. I think this happens more often than people realise.
Mate, again, the underlying objection is: WHERE DID YOU GET THAT FROM? Maybe this time it will sink in. If you claim to believe specifically in the God of the Bible, then where does the Bible actually say that?

Because claiming it's entity X, except with attributes Y and Z dropped, and attributes A, B, C and D pulled out of the ass instead, past a point we're not even talking about the same entity. It's like I claimed I have a duck, except, no, see, it doesn't have feathers or webbed feet, and it has pointy ears and meows. At that point it's fair to say, "no, you don't have a duck" and flailings to the effect of "but you're not talking about MY duck" would just be stonking stupid.
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Old 25th March 2019, 01:55 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No.

I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.

Well in modern-day Christian churches you are probably taught that all sorts of inconsistent and unbelievable statements from the OT and NT are to be interpreted to mean something quite different from what the words actually say. You are probably not taught any more that God lives in the clouds that you can see in the sky above you … you are probably no longer taught that disastrous floods are God showing his anger and retribution for some misdeed of Man … you are probably not taught any more that God literality created Earth, Heaven, and Man etc. in 6 days. You are probably taught that almost everything in the OT and NT means something different to what it actually says lol.

Afaik ancient philosophers also noticed there was a problem believing the words should be taken literally, and they argued that it must therefore have meant a “spiritual image” (whatever that could possibly be). But afaik the OT and the NT are both quite explicit in saying that God did “make Man in his own image … in his own likeness”.

Changing it afterwards when you find it uncomfortable or difficult to sustain seems to be a constant activity of Christianity. At what point do you start to "smell a rat" in the works?
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Old 25th March 2019, 02:12 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
They speak of human actions. That's not anything physical. An immaterial being can love.

...they would have said, at that church that I don't go to any more.

Well it's just meaningless waffle to say things like "An immaterial being can love", isn't it? What on earth is an "immaterial being" anyway? What's the evidence that any such claimed immaterial existence is even possible ... let alone claiming what it does about "love" or about causing all sorts physical changes on Earth (floods etc.).

The "human actions" of the believed God, are surely quite “physical”? Aren't they?. How is it not a “physical” act if he is causing floods and other natural disasters, intervening with miracle cures & answering prayers etc., not to mention creating the entire planet in the first place .. planet Earth is a physical real object isn't it?

This all just sounds like yet more in the vast Christian book of special pleading that is needed to alter the uncomfortable facts of what is actually claimed for God (and actually for Jesus) in the OT and NT.

It doesn't matter to me what Christians believe (or Muslims). Unless of course acting upon their beliefs becomes dangerous ... and unfortutely it does!
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Old 25th March 2019, 02:30 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
This relates to the problem I was discussing earlier in this thread: some atheists have a view of their God that doesn't exist that is different to the view that theists have for their God that they think exists.

Afaik, what atheists are usually doing is just pointing out what is actually said about God or about Jesus in the books of the Bible (OT and NT). Whereas what modern-day Christians appear to be doing is that they are re-interpreting every uncomfortable, unbelievable, or distasteful sentence in those bibles to say they must actually mean something different that is more acceptable to them.


Originally Posted by GDon View Post
How does outreach work in that case? If both sides want to stick to their definition, then the atheist has to convince the theist that the atheist's view of God is correct, or vice versa, before discussion begins. Otherwise any conversation will be at cross purposes. I think this happens more often than people realise.

I don't think atheists are "sticking to their definition" are they? They are not talking about definitions. They are just pointing out what was originally claimed for God in the OT (and what was later claimed for Jesus in the NT), and pointing to vast numbers of problems and impossibilities with most of that biblical writing.

Other than that, atheists are just noting how obviously suspicious it is when later Christians, theologians and some philosophers came along and decided that the original claims for God and Jesus could all be "re-interpreted".

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Old 25th March 2019, 02:42 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mate, again, the underlying objection is: WHERE DID YOU GET THAT FROM? Maybe this time it will sink in. If you claim to believe specifically in the God of the Bible, then where does the Bible actually say that?

Because claiming it's entity X, except with attributes Y and Z dropped, and attributes A, B, C and D pulled out of the ass instead, past a point we're not even talking about the same entity. It's like I claimed I have a duck, except, no, see, it doesn't have feathers or webbed feet, and it has pointy ears and meows. At that point it's fair to say, "no, you don't have a duck" and flailings to the effect of "but you're not talking about MY duck" would just be stonking stupid.
"... past a point we're not even talking about the same entity." Isn't that the exact same point I'm making? How does that differ from my point?
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Old 25th March 2019, 02:51 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It happens ALL THE TIME. Like, every time I have a conversation with an atheist about religion, they hold to a strawman version of that religion. And they're not interested in learning what the real story is.
I think it's because 7 billion people have 7 billion ideas about what God is, even if they don't believe in that God. It's not just about God, but about politics, sex, education, how to raise children. The issue is getting past one's own biases to really hear the other person, before meaningful discussion can start.

I can guarantee that the average Christian disbelieves in the gods of Japan despite knowing little to nothing about them, and probably what they know isn't correct in the first place. An atheist who knows a lot about the Bible may find it hard to let go of the God of the Bible as the "right" version of God, causing consternation when encountering a liberal Christian.
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Old 25th March 2019, 03:10 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
They speak of human actions. That's not anything physical. An immaterial being can love.
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
The "human actions" of the believed God, are surely quite “physical”? Aren't they?. How is it not a “physical” act if he is causing floods and other natural disasters, intervening with miracle cures & answering prayers etc., not to mention creating the entire planet in the first place .. planet Earth is a physical real object isn't it?
These are two different problems: the concept of God and his relationship to the material world.

For the first problem it doesn't matter if God is material or immaterial. What matters is whether the concept of God is anthropomorphic. Whatever you mean by immaterial, when a believer talks about God he is contradictory: he is saying that God is not like anything in the world and he is talking about him using human traits. This is a hypostasis: adding "supreme" or "perfect" before the name of a common human trait.

The problem of miracles is different. It is not a misuse of a word. It is the problem of the relationship between God and the world. Almost all popular religions claim some divine actions that affect the world. Either physical or mental activities. The first are called miracles.
Science does not prove that miracles are "impossible" as IanS said.

Science shows that some stories of miracles are false. For example, there was no earthquake in Palestine in the first century. This refutes the Passion narrative.
The history of religions can show that no account of miracles has given any rational evidence.
Philosophy can state that extraordinary events require extraordinary proof.
Conclusion: All alleged miracles are almost surely false.

The problem of miracles is important, but not definitive. Someone can maintain a concept of God by dispensing with those miracles that alter the laws of physics. This believer will not be affected by rational criticism of miracles.

SOME DEFINITIONS (from Cambridge Dictionary of English):
Evidence: anything that helps to prove that something is or is not true
To show: to prove something or make the truth or existence of something known.
To prove: to make it clear that something is or is not true

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Old 25th March 2019, 03:16 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I can guarantee that the average Christian disbelieves in the gods of Japan despite knowing little to nothing about them, and probably what they know isn't correct in the first place. An atheist who knows a lot about the Bible may find it hard to let go of the God of the Bible as the "right" version of God, causing consternation when encountering a liberal Christian.
If a liberal Christian wants to argue with a liberal atheist, he must define what he means by "God. I know the god of the Bible, but "liberal's God" is an extremely vague concept.

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Old 25th March 2019, 05:45 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
This relates to the problem I was discussing earlier in this thread: some atheists have a view of their God that doesn't exist that is different to the view that theists have for their God that they think exists.
That's not where the conflict really is. Atheists don't believe in any gods at all. The two gods in such a debate are actually the god the theist believes in and the god the theist is willing to discuss with atheists. The atheist's choice then is whether to play along with that lie & end up debating over a god neither of them believes in or to insist on dealing with the god the theist is trying to hide behind the curtain.
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Old 25th March 2019, 06:17 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I think it's because 7 billion people have 7 billion ideas about what God is, even if they don't believe in that God. It's not just about God, but about politics, sex, education, how to raise children. The issue is getting past one's own biases to really hear the other person, before meaningful discussion can start.

I can guarantee that the average Christian disbelieves in the gods of Japan despite knowing little to nothing about them, and probably what they know isn't correct in the first place. An atheist who knows a lot about the Bible may find it hard to let go of the God of the Bible as the "right" version of God, causing consternation when encountering a liberal Christian.


The description of God given in the OT (and perhaps to some extent in the NT) is by definition the correct description of God. Because that is where the entire claim of any such God came from in the first place. That is the only actual source for ever thinking any such God exists at all.

The only way any later Christians can change that, is if they claim to have actually discovered new evidence of God's existence where the new evidence shows that God was not exactly as originally "known/revealed" to the OT prophets. But of course there is no such new evidence discovered for God ... instead God remains known only from, and entirely from, the OT & NT bible.

What later Christians can legitimately try to do, and what they have very often done, is to claim that some descriptions of God in the bible are actually just metaphors that do not really mean what it's words actually say. But in that case you must in all honesty ask how convincing that is as a genuine reason for altering what the bible said … and to gauge that you might ask if it's only the objectionable/cruel parts that are now said to be merely metaphor, or have just as many of the most cherished and admirable parts of God's character also been declared as merely metaphor that is not actually true?

What have Christians done with the most loved and admired parts about God? Have all those parts also been admitted as mere metaphor which is not actually literally true?
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Old 25th March 2019, 07:46 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
God knows I can't speak for Christians or even theists. I'm just someone who doesn't self-identify as an atheist. I don't feel the need to ascribe any of the above attributes to God. I believe any God there might be would be beyond my ability to imagine, and I don't expect prayer to alter anything but my own internal state.



I would venture to say, there are probably people who self-identify as theists who hold similar views. You might wonder if there's any point in believing in such a vague God and that would be a legitimate question. The answers would probably vary from person to person.
Why would you use the label "god" for that type of entity? It wouldn't have anything in common with the type of entity those that claim to be religious such as the RCers believe in.
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Old 25th March 2019, 07:52 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No.



I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.
Er have you forgotten that for most Christians their God very much is explicitly stated in one of their foundational texts to look and act like a human being, so much so that he can apparently die looking as human as you or I?
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Old 25th March 2019, 08:00 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
This relates to the problem I was discussing earlier in this thread: some atheists have a view of their God that doesn't exist that is different to the view that theists have for their God that they think exists.

How does outreach work in that case? If both sides want to stick to their definition, then the atheist has to convince the theist that the atheist's view of God is correct, or vice versa, before discussion begins. Otherwise any conversation will be at cross purposes. I think this happens more often than people realise.
Personally I go from what they describe or define as their God So for instance if someone says to me they are a RC I can read what their God is from the Vatican website, if they say they are an Anglican I can go to the CofE website to discover what God they believe in ( albeit the official CofE website is nowhere near as comprehensive as the RCC website is).

I'm surprised Artho was brought up in Chrisitian denomination that didn't believe in an incarnate god, that is a genuine first for me. Even my lot who tended to be as non committal and as non specific as possible still said god walked on the earth as a human being (or to be totally clear an entity that humans couldn't distinguish from an other human being).
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Old 25th March 2019, 10:09 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
"... past a point we're not even talking about the same entity." Isn't that the exact same point I'm making? How does that differ from my point?
The point though is then they can jolly well stop claiming that it is the same entity.
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Old 25th March 2019, 12:13 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why would you use the label "god" for that type of entity? It wouldn't have anything in common with the type of entity those that claim to be religious such as the RCers believe in.
It's a code word for something that can't properly be expressed in words at all. I could call it an entity, being or presence, but even those are a little too anthropomorphic for my taste. Prime mover? Ultimate reality? Mind you, I'm not certain about that either.

I'm not sure my attitude is as rare as you might think among people who call themselves Christians (or Muslim or Jewish etc.). Meanwhile there my be religions or traditions that share my sense if ineffability, but once it's codified as scripture IMO it becomes very weird and baroque. There are a few lines I love in the Bible but many more I despise.
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Old 25th March 2019, 04:57 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I'm surprised Artho was brought up in Chrisitian denomination that didn't believe in an incarnate god, that is a genuine first for me. Even my lot who tended to be as non committal and as non specific as possible still said god walked on the earth as a human being (or to be totally clear an entity that humans couldn't distinguish from an other human being).
Pentecostal and evangelical. In later years it morphed into the giant megachurch type structure and is now associated with Hillsong or whatever that's called now.

And as far as I knew, God physically walking the earth as a human being isn't something that most mainstream religions believed, so that's a new one on me. Jesus was God's human incarnation - although whether he was actually human or not is the basis of the Arian heresy. My church was trinitarian.
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Old 25th March 2019, 05:25 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I think it's because 7 billion people have 7 billion ideas about what God is, even if they don't believe in that God. It's not just about God, but about politics, sex, education, how to raise children. The issue is getting past one's own biases to really hear the other person, before meaningful discussion can start.

I can guarantee that the average Christian disbelieves in the gods of Japan despite knowing little to nothing about them, and probably what they know isn't correct in the first place. An atheist who knows a lot about the Bible may find it hard to let go of the God of the Bible as the "right" version of God, causing consternation when encountering a liberal Christian.
Forget the other 7 billion including the Japaneses and the nasty atheists, tell us how YOU define, describe, understand, imagine, feel whatever god you believe in is. Then we will at least know how to address that god belief.
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Old 25th March 2019, 05:30 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No.

I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.

One gets the impression that different religious groups just let their heads go. I mean there it is written in Genesis:

8. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

There you go, God was taking a stroll in the garden, can't be clearer than that.
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Old 25th March 2019, 05:37 PM   #309
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Right, but the rules were different back then, or something. After Eden, God separated into the Trinity and was not embodied again until Jesus.

Something like that, anyway. Wait, who was that guy who fought God?
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Old 25th March 2019, 05:38 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
One gets the impression that different religious groups just let their heads go. I mean there it is written in Genesis:

8. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

There you go, God was taking a stroll in the garden, can't be clearer than that.
And how do mere humans hide from an all-knowing god? Was "he" just playing a childish game of "Boo" with them when he said "Where are you?"?
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Old 25th March 2019, 05:39 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Pentecostal and evangelical. In later years it morphed into the giant megachurch type structure and is now associated with Hillsong or whatever that's called now.



And as far as I knew, God physically walking the earth as a human being isn't something that most mainstream religions believed, so that's a new one on me. Jesus was God's human incarnation - although whether he was actually human or not is the basis of the Arian heresy. My church was trinitarian.
I'm confused now, so your church DID believe in an incarnate god I. E. Jesus? Or didn't it?
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Old 25th March 2019, 05:51 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I'm confused now, so your church DID believe in an incarnate god I. E. Jesus? Or didn't it?
Like I said, Trinitarian. Jesus was God, but God was not Jesus. God was three entities that are separate but the same: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God was incarnated as Jesus during his lifetime, and then was killed and returned to heaven. Since then God has not been incarnated as a human again. None of the three now have a physical human body, although the Holy Spirit sometimes manifests as a dove.

Something like that. It's been a while.
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Old 25th March 2019, 06:19 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
That's not where the conflict really is. Atheists don't believe in any gods at all. The two gods in such a debate are actually the god the theist believes in and the god the theist is willing to discuss with atheists. The atheist's choice then is whether to play along with that lie & end up debating over a god neither of them believes in or to insist on dealing with the god the theist is trying to hide behind the curtain.
Sure, that is where the conflict SHOULD be. But what I am talking about is that there are situations where the atheist is trying to convince the theist that the theist's version of God is incorrect, and the atheist's version is the one that is correct. It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know, but that is what happens occasionally in my experience.

To some extent, I think the Internet is the reason. A Christian who might be a liberal Christian -- i.e. the Bible is just metaphor, Jesus is just a very good man -- becomes an atheist, starts posting on an atheist board, and then suddenly he starts claiming that Christians should believe the Bible is literally true, and that Jesus was a pre-incarnate God. Strange!

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Old 25th March 2019, 06:21 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The point though is then they can jolly well stop claiming that it is the same entity.
Exactly! So where do we disagree?

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Old 26th March 2019, 07:51 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Exactly! So where do we disagree?
I am trying to know what you mean by "God" for some days ago. I'm really interested. Perhaps I missed your answer.
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Old 26th March 2019, 08:41 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Sure, that is where the conflict SHOULD be. But what I am talking about is that there are situations where the atheist is trying to convince the theist that the theist's version of God is incorrect, and the atheist's version is the one that is correct. It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know, but that is what happens occasionally in my experience.

To some extent, I think the Internet is the reason. A Christian who might be a liberal Christian -- i.e. the Bible is just metaphor, Jesus is just a very good man -- becomes an atheist, starts posting on an atheist board, and then suddenly he starts claiming that Christians should believe the Bible is literally true, and that Jesus was a pre-incarnate God. Strange!
In other words, the atheist's version of God is based on the Bible, while the Christian's is not. Most peculiar.
This brings us back to my as-yet-unanswered question: If you reject the Biblical description of God, even if it's just to shift from literal to metaphorical, what is the source of your information about God? Because, as far as I know we have literally nothing else.
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Old 26th March 2019, 09:01 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No.

I was taught that God doesn't have a physical image, and that he created humans in his spiritual image (whatever that means). God doesn't look like a human person. God doesn't look like anything.
Yeah, there are strange interpretations of Genesis out there, when Gah-a-mighty banishes the humans from the garden, he clothes them in skins of animals.
So when they ate of the fruit and then got caught they were incorporeal, when they were banished they became animals
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Old 26th March 2019, 01:49 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Sure, that is where the conflict SHOULD be. But what I am talking about is that there are situations where the atheist is trying to convince the theist that the theist's version of God is incorrect, and the atheist's version is the one that is correct. It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know, but that is what happens occasionally in my experience.

Well the theist's version of God can be very difficult to nail down - I think this is obvious. The frustration for atheists is to get a clear definition of God, so we known what to target our piercing disbelief on.

As David mentioned above we are waiting for you to define your god GDon, so we can subject him/her to our withering gaze. There's a good lad, colour the picture in for us.
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Old 26th March 2019, 01:57 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I think it's because 7 billion people have 7 billion ideas about what God is, even if they don't believe in that God.

I don't think the above is true at all. Even if you just look at Christians in one particular country (never mind 7 billion people all over the planet), or even just consider the few people in one particular town church, I think the people there will agree very closely on their description of God.

Just because Christians don't all agree on exactly the same details of what they believe about God, that doesn't mean they all have a totally different concept of God.

Afaik they all believe God is an intelligent being, who is "alive" in the sense that he has a functioning mind and can decide things. They believe he has super-human powers such that he can cause huge physical interactions and changes to things on Earth. They all describe the God as "he", so they have some sort of concept in mind about that too.

They do not think he is physically present and existing now in human form living anonymously (under cover) on the Earth. They think instead he has some sort of invisible spirit-like form, or that he can change form (such as, at one time at least circa.33AD, adopting the human-like form of Jesus). They all think he has the mental capacity to know instantly what is happening in the lives of everyone on the planet. Etc. Etc.

The only thing that I think Christians today are less likely to say, is that he really exists somewhere in space with a human-like flesh-&-bloody type body. Though that may well have been the belief of many people in biblical times (that he was like a wise old man who lived in a paradise of fluffy white clouds in the sky above the Earth.

Last edited by IanS; 26th March 2019 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:13 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Forget the other 7 billion including the Japaneses and the nasty atheists, tell us how YOU define, describe, understand, imagine, feel whatever god you believe in is. Then we will at least know how to address that god belief.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am trying to know what you mean by "God" for some days ago. I'm really interested. Perhaps I missed your answer.
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
As David mentioned above we are waiting for you to define your god GDon, so we can subject him/her to our withering gaze. There's a good lad, colour the picture in for us.
Waiting . . .
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